I had my first tournament at blue belt today. I ended up losing both of my matches, one by RNC and one by omoplata. However, after the tournament I was talking to a teammate (who killed it by the way) and he asked me “So, as a blue, what did you learn out here?” I told him, “I learned that I belong at blue.”
That was something that, really, I didn’t know. I’ve had a lot of people tell me I was a blue belt, but there’s something about finding that out for yourself. I stepped out against a guy who, from my understanding, has been blue for a while. He tapped me out with a choke, after 3.5 minutes. My next match was against a (much) younger guy. He tapped me out at about the 1/2 way mark of the match.
While I lost, it wasn’t what I feared. I lost each of the first 4 matches at white belt in a much worse way. I probably didn’t belong with the white belts. Here, the guys executed better than me today, and they might even beat me every time we meet. However, what I realized was, I was in both of those matches. That told me that I belong at blue.
It was a boost of confidence. I think that was part of my nerves this week. Am I going to be overmatched? Are they going to destroy me? And that could still happen at a future tournament. But I realized, whether I ever get a gold at blue or not, I am a blue belt.